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American Journal of Engineering Research (AJER)

2016

American Journal of Engineering Research (AJER)


e-ISSN: 2320-0847 p-ISSN : 2320-0936
Volume-5, Issue-2, pp-49-53
www.ajer.org
Research Paper

Open Access

An Overview on Test Standards for Evaluation of Jute


Agrotextiles
Prof. Swapan Kumar Ghosh1, Mr. Satyaranjan Bairagi2,
Mr. Rajib Bhattacharyya3, Mr. Murari Mohan Mondal4
1

2,3,4

(Professor, Department of Jute and Fibre Technology, Calcutta University, Kolkata, India)
(Senior Research Fellow, Department of Jute and Fibre Technology, Calcutta University, Kolkata, India)

Abstract: The growth of the Indian Economy is significantly reliant on the success of the agriculture
community. Traditional methods are limited in their ability to increase yields with the current constraints of
restricted space and water supply. In this context, Agrotextiles have proved to be an effective alternative that
delivers strong results despite the constraints. Some of the benefits of the usage of agrotextiles are enhancing
freshness in fruits and vegetables, prevents soil from drying, protection from harmful pesticides, yield increase
etc. However, due to the growing environmental concern across the globe, scientists, technologists and
researchers are in search of natural agrotextile and jute agrotextile (JAT) seems to be the most potential
candidate in responding to their search. JAT is highly effective in agri-horticulture and forestry for higher
agricultural yield. Extensive research works and field study have been conducted with encouraging results.
Now, there is a dire need for quality control in terms of testing and evaluation of JAT demanding formulation of
new international standards for testing. The existing test standards for synthetic agrotextiles for evaluating
different end use property parameters are not uniform globally i.e., these test standards vary from country to
country. However, in the field of standardization for testing of different properties of JAT there is a paucity of
data for formulation of specifications and quality control guidelines. Test standards for synthetic agrotextiles
understandably do not exactly apply to JAT. While study is on to develop exclusive test and design standard for
JAT, there is need to adopt any of the existing standards for synthetic agrotextiles that cater to the majority of
requirements in the interim period. The paper suggests adoption of ASTM standards for testing JAT because of
the wide range of test standards available and their credibility.
Keywords:ASTM standards, European Standards, Jute Agrotextile (JAT), Synthetic Agrotextiles, Technical
Textile,

I. Introduction
Agriculture forms the backbone of the Indian Economy and one cannot disregard the significant role
that agriculture plays in the Indian Economy and in the daily life of its citizens. Yet, food security continues to
be a pressing issue in India. In light of this major challenge, Agrotextile utilization has helped the agriculture
community in attaining increased yield and enhanced quality in agriculture produce. Amongst its various
benefits, agrotextiles protect produce from harmful external elements and assist in better soil management.
These benefits provide farmers with enhanced productivity and increased yields resulting in further socioeconomic development of the stake holders within the agriculture community. Agro processing sector has
experienced expansion during the last five decades, starting with a handful of facilities which were mainly
operating at domestic level [1]. The selection of Agrotextile product depends on crop needs. Selection of the
agro textiles is also greatly influenced by the geographical location. But for any application and supervision
quality control tests are an essential part. Again, proper testing of technical textiles meant for agriculture is
critical to ensure their effective performance. The standards evolved for this purpose relate to synthetic
agrotextiles only and are not uniform. Table 3 shows the existing BIS standards for the different synthetic
agrotextiles used in different agriculture and horticulture applications. The design is based on rigorous
empirical exercise carried out individually in each country. The site conditions are apt to vary and so also the
approach to design. While some sort of uniformity in testing methods could be achieved in case of synthetic
agrotextiles after synthesizing the standards available, no such standards have drawn up so far for agrotextiles
made of different natural fibres such as Jute Agrotextiles (JATs). In absence of testing standards for JAT,
standards for synthetic agrotextiles are presently adopted for agrotextiles made of natural fibres. In view of the
growing demand of JAT in particular, it is felt necessary to evolve exclusive application-wise standards for JAT.

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American Journal of Engineering Research (AJER)

2016

The selection of JAT for a particular application in agriculture area necessarily depends on adequate
and suitable fabric properties and specific functional characteristics in respect of end-use requirements. If these
properties are technically inadequate for a particular application considering the limited durability of JAT and
other natural Agrotextiles, distress/failure could be a distinct possibility. On the other hand, if these properties
meet the desired specifications in excess of the actual requirement, the selection of the fabric will
understandably prove uneconomical. As the physical features and mechanical properties of natural [2] and manmade fibres distinctly differ, we need to decide specifications of JAT carefully.

II. National Standards for Agrotextiles


There are reportedly 21 Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) for the manufacture, testing, etc., of various
types of synthetic agrotextiles [3] namely, IS 15351:2008 for Laminated high density polyethylene (HDPE)
woven fabric (Geo-membrane) for water proof lining, IS 15907:2010 for Agro textiles - High Density
Polyethylene (HDPE) Woven Beds for Vermiculture Specification, IS 16008:2012 for Agro Textiles - Shade
Nets for Agriculture and Horticulture Purposes Specification, etc.
2.1 International Standards for Agrotextiles
Most of the countries of Western Europe (e.g. Belgium, France Germany, Italy, the Netherlands,
Switzerland and the United Kingdom) have national standards [4] on the construction, testing and use of various
types of synthetic agrotextiles. There is already a large volume of trade in agrotextiles among the countries of
Western Europe but standard procedures for testing different parameters of agrotextiles of the producer country
may differ with that of the user country creating ambiguity about the conformity of the test results of the
different parameters of the product in particular JAT. European Economic Community (EEC) has a number of
European Committees for Standardization (CENs) for various disciplines and product groups. The decision to
use a particular agrotextile material in any agricultural process will depend, among other things, on whether it
complies with the specifications indicated for that material by the specialist engineer in the design of the project.
As already stated different countries have developed their own standards for use of agrotextiles which enable the
specialist consulting engineers and other users to specify clearly the products they want; in addition,
standardized testing methods make it possible to compare products and results.
2.2 Issues
The question is about the specifications and testing methods to be adopted in the intervening period till
such time the application-wise specifications for JAT are finalized and testing methods specific for JAT are
decided. Although there are a few BIS standards existing for agrotextiles, there is a dire need for international
standards for the agrotextiles [2]. Whilst the national standards of different countries for test methods
recommend a unified approach for testing, the way in which the test results are applied to specify an agrotextile
for a particular application could hardly be uniform. As there is hardly any difference between JAT and
synthetic agrotextiles functionally, the standards available for synthetic agrotextiles are applied for JAT. As the
standard testing methods of agrotextile are not uniform in developed countries and are somewhat sporadic in
developing countries, ASTM standard testing methods for testing of different types of synthetic agrotextiles as
well as JAT in most of the cases are being followed for the sake of uniformity. In India, BIS standards are
followed where such standards exist for testing of JAT.

III. Speciality of Jute Fibre


Jute is one of the most versatile natural fibres and is second only to cotton in availability and variety of
uses among vegetable fibres. It is a long, soft, shiny vegetable fibre that can be spun into coarse, strong threads.
It falls into the bast fibre category (fibre collected from bast or skin of the plant) along with kenaf, industrial
hemp, flax (linen), and ramie. It is produced from plants in the genus Corchorus, which has been classified in
the family Tiliaceae, or more recently in Malvaceae. Two species of Jute [5] which are commonly cultivated are
Corchorus capsularis (White Jute) and Corchorus olitorius (Tossa Jute). The fibres are off-white to brown, and
14 metres (312 feet) long. Jute fibre is grown abundantly in Bengal (India) and adjoining areas of Indian
subcontinent. Retted jute fibers have three principal chemical constituents, namely -cellulose, hemicelluloses,
and lignin. The hemicelluloses consist of polysaccharides of comparatively low molecular weight built up from
hexoses, pentoses, and uronic acid residues. In jute, capsularis and olitorius have similar analyses, although
small differences occur among different fiber samples. In addition to the three principal constituents, jute
contains minor constituents such as fats and waxes inorganic matter, nitrogenous matter and traces of pigments
[6]. The details of chemical composition [7, 8] of the jute fibre is given in Table 1 and the fibre properties of
most widely used fibres for producing Geotextiles like jute, polyester and polypropylene are depicted below in
Table-2.

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Table- 1: Average chemical composition (in percent of bone dry weight of the fibre) of jute [8] C. Capsularis
(White Jute), C. Olitorius (Tossa Jute).
Constituent
Cellulose*
Lignin
Hemicellulose**

C. Capsularis (White Jute)


60.0 63.0
12.0 - 13.0
21.0 - 24.0
0.4 - 1.0

C. Olitorius (Tossa Jute)


58.0 59.0
13.0 14.0
22.0 - 25.0
0.4 - 0.9
0.8 - 1.56

Fats and waxes


Proteins or nitrogenous matter etc. (% nitrogen x
0.8 - 1.87
6.25)
Pectins
0.2 0.5
0.2 - 0.5
Mineral matter (Ash)
0.7 1.2
0.5 1.2
* Major constituents of jute-cellulose include glucosan (55.0 59.0%), xylan (1.8 3.0%) polyuronide (0.8 1.4%).
**Major constituents of jute-hemicellulose include xylan or pentosan (15.5-16.5%), hexosan (2.0 4.0%), polyuronide (3.0 - 5.0%) and
acetyl content (3.0-3.8%).

Table- 2: Properties of jute fibre [9-18] in contrast with man-made fibre.


Sl. No.
01.
02.
03.
04.
05.
06.

Properties
Specific gravity [21]
Tenacity, g/d
Breaking Elongation, %
Elastic recovery, %
Moisture regain [22], At 65%
R.H. and 270C.
Effect of heat

07.

Effect of acid /alkalis

08.

Effect of bleaches & solvents

Jute
1.48
3 to 5
0.8 to 2
75 to 85
12.5 to 13.8

Polyester
1.38
2 to 9.2
10 to 14.5
57 to 99
0.4 to 4.0

Polypropylene
0.91
2.5 to 5.5
14 to 100
75 to 95
0.01

It does not melt. Up to 1800C


there is no major wt. loss and
tenacity loss. However hemi
cellulose degrades around
2930C and other constituents at
higher temperature.
Good resistant to dilute organic
and mineral acids at room
temperature but degrades in
conc. mineral acids. Affected
by hot alkali.
Resistant to H2O2 bleaching
conditions. Excellent resistant
to organic solvents.
However, affected by strong
oxidizing agents.

Sticks at 1800C and Melts at


2300 2400C

Softens at 1430 1540C,


melts at 1600C &
decomposes at 2880C

Good resistance at room


temperature disintegrates in
conc. hot alkali.
Excellent resistance to acids.

Excellent resistance to
conc. acid and alkalis.

Excellent
resistance
to
bleaches & oxidizing agents.

Resistance to bleaches
& solvents. Chlorinated
Hydrocarbon
cause
swelling & dissolves at
160F and higher.

IV. BIS Standards Available


The following standards formulated for testing of synthetic Agrotextiles are given in Table 3 below.
Table - 3: Standards [3] followed for Agrotextile Testing
AGROTECH
SL. No.
BIS Standard
1.
IS 15351:2008
2.

IS 15907:2010

3.
4.

IS 4401:2006
IS 4402:2005
/ISO 1107:2003
IS 4640:1993
/ISO 858:1973
IS 4641:2005
/ISO 1530:2003
IS 5815(Part 4):1993
/ISO 1805:1973
IS 5815(Part 5):2005
/ISO 1806:2002
IS 5815(Part 6):1993
/ ISO 3090:1974
IS 5815(Part 7):1993
/ ISO 3790:1976
IS 6348:1971
IS 6920:1993
/ISO 1532:1973
IS 8746:1993
/ISO 3660:1976

5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.

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Description
Textiles- Laminated high density polyethylene (HDPE) woven fabric (Geo-membrane)
for water proof lining (First revision)
Agro textiles - High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) Woven Beds for Vermiculture Specification
Textiles-Twisted nylon fishnet twines (fifth revision)
Textiles - Fishing nets - Netting - Basic terms and definitions (second revision)
Fishing nets - Designation of netting yarns in the tex system (first revision)
Textiles - Fishing nets - Description and designation of knotted netting (second revision)
Fishing nets: Determination of breaking load and knot breaking load of netting yarns
(first revision)
Textiles - Fishing nets - Determination of mesh breaking force of netting (second
revision)
Netting yarns - Determination of change in length after immersion in water (first
revision)
Fishing nets - Determination of elongation of netting yarns (first revision)
Basic terms for hanging of netting
Fishing nets - Cutting knotted netting to shape ('Tapering')
Fishing nets - Mounting and joining of netting - Terms and illustrations (first revision)

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American Journal of Engineering Research (AJER)


14.
15.
16.
17.
18.
19.
20.
21.

IS 9945:1999
IS 15788:2008
IS 15789:2008
IS 5508 (Parts 1 to 24)
IS 7533:2003
IS 14287:1995
IS 6347:2003
IS 16008:2012

2016

Fishing nets - Method for determination of taper ratio and cutting rate (first revision)
Fishing nets - Method of test for determination of mesh size - Opening of mesh
Fishing nets - Method of test for determination of mesh size - Length of mesh
Guides for fishing gears
Polyamide monofilament line for fishing
PP Multifilament netting twine
PE Monofilament twine for fishing
Agro Textiles - Shade Nets for Agriculture and Horticulture Purposes Specification
(Clubbed the specifications of 3 Shade net standards, i.e. Specifications for Shade net
50%, 75% and 90% for Agriculture Application. Thus, have 1 standard against 4
proposed standards)

V. Problem of using the existing BIS Standards for Synthetic Agrotextiles in JAT
Growing market offers new possibilities for jute in technical textile sector [19, 20]. In order to meet the
challenges in this area, JAT should conform to the stringent quality specifications. This may be achieved only
by following the standards established specifically for JAT [21]. But as these specific standards for JAT are yet
to be formulated and published, existing standards for synthetic agrotextiles are adopted which could be
sometimes misleading for JAT. Separate specific standards are required for JAT as the different property
parameters of JAT like physical, mechanical, and hydraulic and endurance properties are not similar to synthetic
agrotextile. Apart from these, behavior of JAT on imposition of extraneous load and its withdrawal are different
from synthetic agrotextiles. It is found that during straining, elongation at break for synthetic agrotextiles is
much higher than that of JAT and their retractive behavior is different. In case of JAT properties for less than
50% are only applicable. Behavioral differences between JAT and synthetic agrotextiles demand formulation of
separate standards for JAT for assessing of different property parameters in the laboratory for its acceptance
globally. This will not only meet the technical requirements for assessing the property of JAT but also make
successful marketing of JAT globally.

VI. Suitability of ASTM Standards as an interim option


There are different BIS standards available for synthetic agrotextiles. As there is no unified standard
for JAT, BIS testing standards are considered the most preferred option for JAT testing till such time exclusive
JAT standards are formulated and accepted. ASTM standards are accepted globally for its authenticity of all the
existing standards. Testing parameters of JAT which are measured for finding its potential applications in
different geotechnical applications are given in Table - 4.
Table-4: Properties of JAT [22]
Criteria
Weight(g/m2)
Thickness(mm)
Open Area (%)
Threads/dm Warp X
Weft
Width(cm)
Length(m)
Water
absorption
capacity(%)
Tensile
strength
(kN/m)
WarpX Weft
Elongation at Break
(%)
Warp X Weft

Erosion Control, & Afforestation


Woven
Conventional
Type-1
500
400
5
3
60
40
6.5 4.5
34 15

Type-2
300
3
60
17 4.6

Type-3
300
2
70
11 12

Weed Management
Non-Woven
Type-1
Type-2
500
750
6
8
0
0
-

122
70
600

122
100
500

122
100
400

122
100
350

150
50
650

150
50
700

17.5 7.5

12 10

10 7.5

10 10

56

78

11 15

10 12

10 15

12 12

20 25

25 30

VII.

Conclusions

Natural technical textile in the name of Jute Agrotextile (JAT) is highly effective in agri-horticulture
and forestry for higher agricultural yield. Extensive R & D work and field study has been conducted by research
Organizations in this field with encouraging results. Efficacy of the products have been established and
documented. JAT helps faster growth of vegetation naturally. It is a natural fabric that helps retain soil humidity
at conducive levels, arrests desiccation of soil and attenuates extremes of temperature due to its inherent
capacity to absorb water/moisture to the tune of 5 times of its dry weight. Jute coalesces with soil after
biodegradation, increases its permeability and supplementing its nutrient level. JAT fosters growth of plant in
arid and semi- arid zones much faster than under control conditions without use of manures. Non- Woven JAT
can suppress weed-growth effectively. JAT provides all these advantages without affecting eco-ambience

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American Journal of Engineering Research (AJER)

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adversely at affordable and competitive cost. It has been envisaged that some of such products like, jute sleeve,
nonwoven agro mulching sheet, fabric for plant wrapping etc. can be conveniently fabricated in rural areas with
an ultimate impact on rural economy.

VIII.

Acknowledgements

The authors convey their regards to the Honorable Vice Chancellor and Pro Vice Chancellor
(academic), University of Calcutta, West Bengal, India for their kind consent to allow this review paper for
publication in the scholarly journal and valuable guidance to carry out this paper.

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